Deputy President William Ruto has called for a paradigm shift in career choices among the youth, a move he said would reduce unemployment.
He urged Kenyans to embrace Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to acquire the much-needed technical skills in the implementation of the country’s transformation agenda.
He pointed out the Government’s Big Four agenda as one of the programmes that will create thousands of jobs for youth with technical skills.
“The best way to ensure youths have jobs is to ensure we have programmes that can create jobs and at the same time have a plan to prepare youth to be able to do the jobs that will be created,” he said.
Dr Ruto spoke on Tuesday in Tongaren, Bungoma County, during a career guidance programme where over 10,000 students from the county enrolled to various TTIs in the country.
He was accompanied by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa, Deputy Governors Ngome Kibanani (Bungoma) and Joash Maangi (Kisii) and Principal Secretary State Department of Vocational and Technical Training Dr Kevit Desai.
Dr Ruto said the Government had set up 130 TTIs across the country to ensure every Kenyan youth has access to the institutions.
The Deputy President dismissed the notion that Technical Institutes are for those who failed in their secondary examination.
He said Kenya seeks to increase the number of youth with technical skills to help drive the country’s development agenda.
“We must have men and women who have competencies and skills that will help us drive our vision 2030.”
He added: “If we do not have people with technical skills Vision 2030 will change to Vision 3020.”
The Deputy President said the Government will support youth enrolling in TVETs through bursaries worth Sh30,000 and HELB loan worth Sh40,000 per student annually.
Prof Kibanani said there was need to change focus from university to TVET education.
“We have had a gap in Kenya, we cannot focus on university education and forget TVET. Any country that wants to succeed must have a policy on how to train youth at the middle level,” noted the Deputy Governor.
Mr Lusaka lauded the move by the County Government of Bungoma for encouraging youth to join TVETs saying it will help the Government to achieve its goals.
“As a country, we are now in the right direction as we are empowering young people who will take over after we have left.”
Mr Ichungwa explained that the skills that will be needed to implement the Big Four agenda will be found in TVETs.